Effects of supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with heart failure
Despite the clinical and prognostic improvement obtained with the current medical treatment, heart failure (HF) continues to have high morbidity and mortality and its prevalence is increasing in most regions of the world. Thus, there is a need for novel adjunctive therapies that act independently of current neurohormonally and haemodynamically oriented drugs. Nutritional approaches are particularly attractive because they could work additively with established therapies without negative hemodynamic effects. There is growing evidence that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) supplementation positively impacts established pathophysiological mechanisms in HF and thus has a potential role for preventing and treating HF. The results of the GISSI-HF trial have indicated that, in patients with chronic HF on evidence-based therapy, long term treatment with PUFAs reduced mortality and hospitalizations for cardiovascular reasons, irrespective of etiology and left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF). The purpose of this review is to summarize the evidence emerged from studies conducted so far on the effect of n-3 PUFAs in HF.